With community quarantine still in place in the whole country and there is a need for a clear direction in the protocols due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the call for an effective leadership is being demanded by the public.
In an article by the Harvard Business School, there are four qualities that a leader must possess in this time of pandemic.
These are acting with urgency, communicating with transparency, responding productively to missteps, and engaging in constant updating.
Because of this, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-Ilocos Norte Information Center, in partnership with the Ilocos Norte Youth Development Office (INYDO) and the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK), conducted a virtual youth forum entitled "Leading Through Crisis: How Young Leaders Can Lead During a Public Emergency" using the Zoom application.
With more than 15 young officials in attendance, the goal of the youth forum is to harness their leadership skills, decision making, and strategic planning in addressing the concerns of their communities in times of public emergencies.
The youth leaders are considered the national government's arm in upholding youth development down to the grassroots level.
Their role in providing continuing welfare and ensuring no youth in Ilocos Norte is left behind in this pandemic is vital and looked-for by this generation.
The agency identified the topic "Leadership in a Crisis" as a timely and relevant topic of discussion in order to maximize the fullest potential of young leaders in handling issues concerning the youth in the time of public emergencies.
Part of the training is the presentation of how PIA works and will engage the participation of the young leaders in promoting government programs and services down to the grassroots level.
Moreover, as a role model for the youth, responsible use of social media was also discussed to help these leaders identify fake news and irrelevant information which only cause panic during pandemic.
According to Joan Diaz-Sabado, PIA-Ilocos Norte information center manager, "The training will capacitate the young leaders to effectively perform their duties and responsibilities amidst crisis and will help them better address the concerns and issues by the youth in their communities."
With Theresa Llorente, SK chairperson in Francisco village in Tagaytay, as the resource speaker for the virtual forum's theme, the leaders were presented with the strategies and projects of the SK in Francisco village in Tagaytay when two crises occurred in their area.
"Let's not build a nature of competition when serving our community," Llorente said, encouraging the participants to replicate some good projects of other organizations as long as proper credit is given.
"Ang mga kabataan ay hindi lamang pag-asa ng bayan, kailangan tayo ng bayan ngayon, bukas, at magpakailanman," Rafael Salvador Chua Medina, SK Federation president in Ilocos Norte, said when he joined the online forum.
Indeed, in this time of crisis, there is no room for comparing whose projects are better or lacking in effectivity.
What matter is the heart to serve wholeheartedly until we could all rise up again and heal altogether. (JCR/AMB/MJTAB/PIA Ilocos Norte)